US Marijuana Party

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Time to Review Drug Emphasis

I am shocked and thrilled by today's editorial in The Montgomery Advertiser. It gives me hope to see the Capitol City newspaper cover this issue and ask the question WHY are we doing things this way. I'll be writing a letter in praise and hope that the rest of the community will do so as well.


Time to review drug emphasis

If a majority of local law enforcement officials say methamphetamine is the biggest illegal drug problem they face, why is the national drug use prevention effort focused most on marijuana? That seems a dangerous disconnect between policy and reality that has serious implications for law enforcement and the safety of the public.

A new survey conducted by the National Association of Counties polled law enforcement agencies in 500 counties in 45 states. Fifty-eight percent of those agencies ranked methamphetamine as their worst illegal drug problem. Less than 20 percent ranked marijuana first.

The survey found that 70 percent of the law enforcement agencies said methamphetamine use was driving up the number of burglaries and robberies. It was deemed the top illegal drug problem in every region of the country except the Northeast.

Alabama officials are all too familiar with the problems of methamphetamine. A new law aimed at limiting access to a basic ingredient used to make methamphetamine took effect this month, and law enforcement officials are hopeful that it will slow the spread of the drug by making its production more difficult.

The drug may be easily made with readily obtainable items, particularly cold medicines that contain pseudoephedrine, which any pharmacy or grocery store sells.

The new law limits the amount of such medications an individual may purchase and requires that these medications not be kept on open shelves. Purchasers must sign and present identification for the products.

Federal official defend the emphasis on marijuana by noting that it is the most commonly used illegal drug. That's true. However, its use -- although certainly a concern -- does not routinely lead to the kinds of problems that methamphetamine use does.

"We do have to keep all drug threats in context, which means you can't ignore marijuana," said David Murray, a policy analyst for the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

No one's suggesting that, but a review of policies in light of the growing methamphetamine is certainly in order.
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Dear Editor,

Thank you for your recent editorial "Time to review drug emphasis".

In that editorial you asked,

"If a majority of local law enforcement officials say methamphetamine is the biggest illegal drug problem they face, why is the national drug use prevention effort focused most on marijuana?"

The reason is JOB SECURITY.

Back in the 90's the DEA and ONDCP got failing grades by the GAO because they were unable to show that they were accomplishing anything.
The White House set a new goal for the ONDCP: reducing (by specific percentages) the number of illegal drug users in the United States.

Since there are more marijuana users than users of all other illicit drugs combined the ONDCP focused their resources on pot smokers in order to inflate their numbers and keep their $11 billion a year budget intact.

This is a classic case of "let's look like we're doing something" when in reality NOTHING is being done.
They don't want to actually solve the drug problem because, let's face it; if they reached their stated objectives they would be out of a job.

The DEA and ONDCP have been abject failures since their inception and they use their continued failure as justification for more funding.

Maybe it is time for states to craft their own drug policies. Lets lead the way in Alabama by taxing, regulating and controlling marijuana so our cops will be able to focus their very limited resources on real problems.

Respectfully Submitted,
Loretta Nall
Alabama Marijuana Party

1 Comments:

  • The "meth problem" is leading law enforcement in the wrong direction. Here again, ordinary citizens, buying ordinary items are being inconvenienced and called to the attention of police because the items could be used to make meth. (in some areas, pharmacy logs of psudoephedrine purchases are given to police)

    I went to the vitamin store recently to purchase choline+inositol tablets (B-complex vitamins the brain needs to run sharply, calmly and smoothly) and I could not find them on the shelf. It seems that the local police had demanded that these perfectly innocuous tablets be put behind the counter because the local drug dealers were cutting cocaine with inositol (this is a type of sugar). Good grief!! I did not have to sign a log, but I was really annoyed.

    With the psuedoephidrine cold pills unavailable, some clever meth makers have come up with a way to convert the amino acid phenylalanine into meth.

    Phenylalanine is the amino acid your body uses to make norephrinine (NE) and it is sold in health food stores. It is good for alleviating depression and it suppresses hunger. It is a natural part of your diet, and if you don't get enough or absorb enough you can get depressed and apathetic. (Meth just releases NE, and so does Cocaine. This depletes the brain's stores of NE and causes that rebound depression and burnout)

    I would not be too suprised if this amino acid is the next target of police and all those other anti-drug people.

    It would serve us all better if our leaders carefully examined why people take drugs and addressed those issues. Unlike people in undeveloped, mostly agricultural parts of the world, people in the industrialized west are under much more stress and their lives are often almost unbearably hectic, frustrating and ultimately meaningless.

    As a result, Western people tend to feel fatigued and anxious (and sometimes "empty") at the same time. They feel a need for something to calm them down and help them tune out the "noise' (pot,booze,cigarettes), something to pick them up (meth or cocaine or caffeine) and something to get them closer to the divine (psychedelics). Unfortunately for the anti-drug people, these chemicals do exactly as advertized and some of them, like pot, are not even addictive. No need for blind faith here, just a pure dose of the right chemical and the ills of modern life become much more tolerable.

    If we cannot create a society where people are free from excessive environment- induced stress, frustration and emptiness the sensible thing to do is just legalize the drugs people want to take (not just the ones pushed down our throats by pharmaceutical companies)

    Zen

    zen4usa@yahoo.com

    By Anonymous zen4usa, at 1:57 AM  

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